The History of Rome - Table of Contents The Latin League and Rome

The Italian people, in the early centuries of the first millennium BC, found themselves surrounded by these various new invaders. At first the Italians occupied the center of the peninsula, but later they separated into two main divisions. The so-called "highlanders" took the central and eastern portions. The Latins, or "lowlanders," dwelt in the west. Because of their relations with the Etruscans, the Latins became more thoroughly civilized than the highlanders. It wasn't long before their settlements grew into cities, and these became city-states. Although these city-states were independent, they were bound together by the necessity of defending themselves against the Etruscans and other enemies. Early in the first millennium BC the Latins formed what was known as the Latin League.

Rome

One of the cities in this confederation was Rome. Originally a settlement on the Palatine Hill, populated by shepherds, farmers, and traders, Rome grew into a city when another settlement on Quirinal Hill was incorporated. The low land between the Palatine and the Quirinal became the Forum. Soon the surrounding hills were settled and they, too, were added to Rome. Later the Wall of Servius was built around all these settlements.

Rome's had many advantages, especially the defensibility of its location. Pirates could not strike it from the sea. Seven hills fortified it against the Etruscans. The Tiber, Italy's largest navigable river, made trade easy. In addition, Rome was in the center of Italy and that made it a fortunate position for an ambitious state.

The History of Rome - Part One 743 - 136 B.C.

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